In my last post, I pointed out how man was originally created to be God’s representatives on earth and govern his world with loving care. However, man’s freely chosen rebellion against his Creator only brought heartache, death and chaos.
How has that choice shaped our world through the millennia?
In his book, The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters, New York Times bestselling author, Andy Andrews, explains how everything we do matters whether large or small, good or evil. Our words and actions cause ripple effects down through the ages. Something we may enjoy or endure today may be the result of one person’s decision several hundred or even a thousand years ago. Adam and Eve’s disobedience brought about world conditions that are tragically different from what our Heavenly Father originally intended and we all suffer from the consequences.
Consequences are an inseparable part of having free will and God may or may not choose to intervene. World hunger results from a multitude of wrong, misinformed or selfish choices. Such choices have damaged the environment bringing about droughts or other extreme weather that causes famine or destroys crops. Human beings in places of power choose to be greedy, arrogant, brutal and corrupt creating conditions that bring poverty to their people. Ordinary citizens who have more than they could ever use, turn away from the poor and continue to indulge themselves, sometimes to ridiculous lengths.
In his book Death of the Modern Superhero: How Grace Breaks Our Rules, Chris Lautsbaugh talks about Abraham and Sarah’s decision to use Sarah’s handmaiden Hagar to try to fulfill God’s long-awaited promise of a son in their old age. Ishmael, the result of Abraham’s one night stand and Isaac, the actual son of the promise, lived in constant conflict. Chris writes, “The consequences of sin (Abraham and Sarah’s choice to involve Hagar) are very real and have impact in time and space….Today’s Jews descend from Isaac and today’s Arabs from Ishmael. They are still fighting.”(p 135-136)
But God and man are not the only beings in the universe with free will. We are in a grand, cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil. Satan and his demons seek to do as much damage as possible to mankind, these beings created in the image of God, intended to be his sons and daughters. Demons blind and deceive minds and enter hearts that are already full of darkness, bringing about acts of war, selfishness, murder and destruction. I believe demons may at times even be responsible for violent weather and other natural disasters, outbreaks of disease, etc.
If we can use our free will for the evil that can bring about hunger and injustice, then we can use our free will to change some of the conditions that create suffering.
In my next post, I will talk about that.